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Scientific American

Writing for Scientific American, Pamela Feliciano spotlights how a study by Prof. Pawan Sinha examined the predictive responses of people with autism. Sinha found that people with ASD had very different responses to a highly regular sequence of tones played on a metronome than those without ASD. While people without ASD ‘habituate’ to the sequence of regular tones; people with ASD do not acclimate to the sounds over time.”

Forbes

A new center established at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research is aimed at accelerating the development of novel therapies and technologies, writes Katie Jennings for Forbes. The hope is that “we can identify common pathways, either a common molecular pathway that's a chokepoint for a therapy or a common group of neurons or neural systems,” says Prof. Robert DeSimone, director of the McGovern Institute.

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Felice Freyer writes about the K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Center for Molecular Therapeutics in Neuroscience, which was established at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research thanks to a $28 million gift from philanthropist Lisa Yang and MIT alumnus Hock Tan ’75. “The center will develop tools to precisely target the malfunctioning genes and neurons underpinning brain disorders,” writes Freyer.

Xinhuanet

Researchers from MIT and other institutions have developed a new model for autism research that could enable new therapies and treatments, reports the Xinhua news agency. The model could “provide a basis for a deeper understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms of autism and the development of more transformative therapeutics.”

Forbes

Forbes reporter Samar Marwan speaks with Rana el Kaliouby, CEO and cofounder of the MIT startup Affectiva, about her work developing new technology that can read human facial expressions. Marwan explains that el Kaliouby and Prof. Rosalind Picard started developing the technology at MIT, “to focus on helping children on the autism spectrum better understand how other people were feeling.”

BBC News

BBC Click reporter Gareth Mitchell speaks with postdoc Oggi Rudovic about his work developing a system that allows autism therapy robots to help teach children how to decipher different emotions. Rudovic explains that the technology can “assist the therapist and also to make the whole therapy process engaging for the child.”

Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics reporter David Grossman writes that MIT researchers have developed a new system that helps robots used in autism therapy better estimate how engaged a child is during an interaction. Grossman explains that, “using the personalized algorithm, the robot was able to correctly interpret a child's reaction 60 percent of the time.”

WBUR

Rana el Kaliouby, co-founder of MIT spinoff Affectiva, speaks to Asma Khalid from WBUR’s Bostonomix about her company’s work making tech devices that are more emotionally intelligent. “We envision a world where our devices and our technologies are emotional-wear,” says el Kaliouby. “They can sense and respond to your emotions in real time in a way that makes the interaction more positive.” 

Boston Herald

Boston Herald reporter Jordan Graham writes that the McGovern Institute has established a new center focused on autism research, thanks to a gift from Lisa Yang and Hock Tan ’75 SM ’75. Graham explains that the center will “focus on trying to make significant jumps through new technologies such as gene editing with CRISPR/Cas9.”

Fortune- CNN

MIT is launching a center for autism research at the McGovern Institute with $20 million in funding from MIT alumnus Hock Tan and Lisa Yang, writes Barb Darrow for Fortune. Darrow writes that Yang told Fortune she was "greatly impressed by both the collegiality and focus of the institute's researchers.”

Boston Magazine

A study by MIT researchers is providing more information about how the brain stores and processes social memories, writes Hallie Smith for Boston Magazine. Smith explains that, in the future, the findings may be applicable to autism research and therapy. 

HuffPost

MIT researchers have found that genetic engineering could be used to reverse some of the symptoms of autism, reports Carolyn Gregoire for The Huffington Post. The researchers found that turning on the Shank3 gene, “could reverse symptoms associated with autism, such as repetitive behaviors and social avoidance.”

Boston Magazine

Boston Magazine reporter Jamie Ducharme writes that MIT researchers have found that they can reverse some of the behavioral symptoms association with autism. Ducharme explains that, “the discovery may open the door to developing more universal approaches to treating autism, like identifying and targeting the specific circuits that cause each patient’s behavioral gaps.”

Boston Globe

Karen Weintraub writes for The Boston Globe about Professor Temple Grandin’s talk at MIT about coping with stress. Grandin, who has autism, “said her anxiety has been transformed into hyper-vigilance. She’s aware of every little movement the airplane she’s riding on makes, but isn’t worried that the plane might crash,” Weintraub explains. 

Boston Globe

Carolyn Johnson of The Boston Globe reports on a new paper by MIT Prof. Pawan Sinha and others that says an inability to make good predictions may explain autism. “Researchers suggest people with autism spectrum disorder may perform repetitive behaviors because personal habits and rituals are a safe harbor in a world they find alarmingly out of control,” writes Johnson.